Chicken cooked Mediterranean style, fried & BBQ

The Mediterranean diet has long been publicized as healthy as much of the food is made with fresh ingredients and grilled. The cuisine at Eli’s Jerusalem Grill is no different. They’re very popular for lamb, chicken and beef Sharma, humus and kabobs.  However, the owner Eli made a chicken schnitzel that literally melted in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the other popular items, but when I can get my favorite food cooked healthy, it really made my day.

Eli’s Jerusalem Grill not only serves plates but they also have sandwiches from sharma to Falafel. If you are unfamiliar with fafalel, it’s very similar to hush puppies but made with chickpeas and it is delicious. Eli’s has 2 locations in Birmingham. The original location is on Highway 280 in Inverness and its newest in the Pizitz Food Hall in downtown Birmingham. The 280 location offers up several lunch specials Monday-Thursday.

Pictured below are: Lamb chops over couscous and Israeli salad. Bottom picture is the chicken schnitzel with balsmati rice & Isreali salad. The owner says everyone should eat their veggies and that’s why salad comes with every meal.

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When it comes to BBQ, Dreamland BBQ is one of the most iconic spots that got its start in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. But since then, it has several locations throughout Alabama. But the most popular is on the southside of Birmingham. Besides BBQ, Dreamland offers baked potatoes and chip and dip that you order with your meal or off the catering menu. Some of their other delicious sides are the okra and baked beans. Maybe Big Daddy stuck his finger in the pan because they are sweet! You can always give them a call for your next catering order. But if you live out of state, Dreamland will be more than happy to ship you some sauce and meat.

Wing-A-FIsh is a family owned restaurant nestled in the Clay Chalkville area which serves up the best wings, fried catfish, talapia, shrimp po-boys on that side of town. THey have up to 16 different flavors. Picture below is a garlic Parmesan & golden with Cajun ranch fries. For months, they only served soul food on Sunday’s but now they offer Southern-style meat & 3 everyday along with the seafood and chicken during lunch from 11:30-2. You can still catch more of the comfort foods on Sunday. They are closed on Monday’s.

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Program Change: Starting July 1st, the show will move to 11 am…so now you can sleep in a bit.

 

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285-joy-logo Don’t forget to make a calendar not the                                                                                        show will be moving to 11 am starting July 1st

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salty & oh so sweet popcorn

Whenever people want to see some juicy gossip or a scandal play out, they always say let me grab some popcorn. The next bag of popcorn you must not only grab, but will be hard to put down is G.H. Cretors  popcorn! OMG, The Mix was hands down my favorite flavor because it’s combination of buttery caramel corn and cheddar cheese. What better flavor profile than salty and sweet! With ever bite, it got better & better! In fact, I didn’t even start this blog until the bag was totally empty. I even pushed my diet back by a day so I wouldn’t feel guilty for eating the entire sweet treat. All of the kernels were nice size,  packed full of flavor & evenly mixed. I really believe the maker had to put some drugs in it because it was so addictive!

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If you like popcorn with a little more bold kick, then you must try the Chile Jalpeno White Cheddar. It was not too salty or too spicy but a high quality taste, especially if you’re looking for a late night salty snack. The white cheddar cheese had a very bold aged authentic cheese flavor.  I was very impressed as it reminded me of high quality gourmet popcorn.

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The Cheddar Cheese Mix was also good as a stand- alone as it wasn’t too salty or soggy which made me give it 2 thumbs up! The cheese flavor had a robust taste and not a powdery cheap cheese taste. Again, each kernel was a nice size without any sogginess or stale flavor.

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I did however; save the BEST for last and that was the straight Just The Carmel Corn. Two words yum-me! That bag could have been on the borderline of being too sweet, but each time I took a bite just too I put another handful in my mouth and said “nahhh, you need to put this bag down!” If you grew up in the 80’s it reminds of a less sticky cracker jack without the prize. The prize in the bag of G. H. Cretors was the flavor.  Here’s a little secret, I hid all the bag of G.H. Cretors from my husband and daughter because I did say I would share with him in my wedding vows!!! As far as my daughter, she has her own job and can her own bag.

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Some things are not meant to be shared and I truly believe G.H, Cretors popcorn line is one of them. Look for it your local department stores such as Target, Wal-Mart & Walgreens. Please pick me up a few bags!

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Dim Sum, Thai or Jamaican????

If you’ve been wanting an over seas trip, but haven’t gotten around to it, you can take your international food journey right here in Birmingham, Alabama. We have such a rich and diverse culture when it comes to the ethnic food cuisine. The most amazing part is many of the local restaurants serve very authentic dishes.

 

Now, I literally stumbled upon Masaman Thai Kitchen Restaurant being curious in Vestavia and trying to get back on the main highway.  Omg, when it comes to Thai food I could literally eat there every single day. Initially I was unsure since most Thai restaurants uses a lot of curry and I was like “no thank you” until I tried the varieties at Masaman. I am now a changed woman. A customer recommended I try the green curry. My brain said are you crazy? Once the sample hit my tongue, I was thinking where is your big cup of this! All of the flavors are creamy, sweet with just a little kick, but never over-powering. I’m not sure which is better the food or the customer service. I’ve tried about 4 or 5 of their dishes and 2 thumbs up to the chef.

I heard so much about “dim sum” from Red Bowl Restaurant in Homewood that I had to stop in. Dim sum is basically a cart of appetizers  that comes to you and you pick out what you want. There are soooo many delicious choices that you MUST come extra hungry to try them all. All of the food at Red Bowl  are Korean or Chinese food. Red Bowl also has a grocery store attached (Asian Supermarket) so you can try to make some of those items at home. They are located on Greensprings Hwy near the I-65 exit and you can only get “Dim Sum” on the weekends.

Southern Jamaican Style Restaurant is attached to the Shell gas station on Bessemer Rd near Fairfield. There’s only a few seats on the inside and it’s probably because the food is so good, you want to eat it alone so you can sing to it. Thomas is the chef and owner and using spices that makes the oxtails, cabbage, rice and beans taste just it’s cook on the island. All you can say when you leave Southern Jamaican Style Restaurant  is yeah mon! The cornbread is like none other. It has some type of cheese on the inside and it’s heavy like a home made pound cake. All of the jerk and Jamaican seasoning are a dry rub.

Please check out all of the wonderful local spots from today’s show, especially if you are looking for something different. Tell them I sent you and you let me know what you tried and what you think! Write me back here on on social media Dining Out With Comedienne Joy Dining Out With Comedienne Joy

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My South is good eats & sweet treats

The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival was an incredible event where winemakers, breweries and restaurants from the southern region gathered to show off their southern eats. Each restaurant was paired with a beverage from their representative state.

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The 3 day event started with a” preview party” at The Stave in Atlanta and that’s when I fell in love at Little Rock, Arkansas! Chef Scott Rains from Table 28 made the most incredible, melt in your mouth, warm, addictive “Salted Molasses Pudding Cake.”

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Now I am a clean comedian, but at that moment, it took a second to keep it clean after the first bite, In fact, it was good delicious that I stood in front of Chef Rains and ate another sample. After my second round, I was wondering If I should tell my husband about my new chef boo! After more convo, I asked would he be serving at another time and that’s when he told me about a Saturday morning breakfast. Initially I thought, I’ve got to find a way to sneak in since my media pass didn’t include the event. God favored me and the media was eventually invited. So who got another opportunity to taste “Salted Molasses Pudding Cake???” Me! I also had no choice but to get a second helping!

Scott Rains photo   Selfie Chef Rains

Some of the most interesting foods that intrigued me were this leg of prosciutto. Is that a hoof???

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Instead of chicken & waffles, how about shrimp and waffles?

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Now, I would never miss an opportunity to not brag on Alabama food! 2 restaurants from Auburn were onsite: Acre & The Hound were grilling on the Big Green Egg. Acre grilled some ribs that were topped with cilantro and peanuts. The Hound grilled some smoked pheasant sausage topped with a Greek yogurt dip and peanuts.

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Another restaurant with strong Alabama ties was Hattie B’s was representing Tennessee although they open their 1st out of Tn chain in Birmingham. Instead of chicken, they showcased a bourbon peach cobbler that should be on their menu.  One word to describe it, mercy!

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Be sure to always follow me on social media for more current updates on food events in the area: Dining Out With Comedienne Joy. Can’t wait to share the Friday and Saturday events from the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival 17 with you this week! #KnowTheSouth

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Upscale Dining With Down Home Food

Chicken gizzards is nothing you would expect to find in a fine-dining restaurant, but when an award winning chef puts his Nashville Hot spin on one of his favorite foods, it becomes a most requested appetizer.  Chef Brandon Burleson is the executive chef at Central Restaurant in Montgomery, Alabama who found a way to take the chewiness out of the gizzard and kick the heat up on gizzards. He also found a new way to make grits…by using popcorn! Let me tell you, I wanted to be in the movie theater after tasting it!

Chef Brandon placed 2nd in the sandwich category at World Food Championship in Orange Beach last November. He will be back this November competing again. Central is open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. They offer an amazing buffet for Easter and Mother’s Day. They have outdoor seating & a private dining area if you want to have an event.

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Carrabba’s Italian Grill is not just pasta. They have some mouth watering steaks and seafood dishes that will make you slap your mama! All of the steaks come with a variety of sauces as a topping to choose from. It’s really hard to pick a favorite since it range from a wine sauce, shrimp scampi, cheesy butter spread to a mushroom butter sauce. I wish I could order a big bowl of the sauce toppings and put over rice as the flavor could be a stand alone dish. (the sauces are on the right in all the plates with out steaks)

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And the dessert Sogno Di Cioccolata or Chocolate dream is a definitely pick me up if you’ve had a bad day. I would advise you to eat this alone because it is too good to share!

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Finally, waffles aren’t just for breakfast anymore. You see at Itta Bena in WindCreek Montgomery the Executive Chef, Rocky Prince, serves waffles with the entree and dessert. All of his creations are amazing! This is his carrot cake waffle topped with vanilla bean ice cream with Jack Daniel and candied pecans.  If only I can get this out of my mind!

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Itta Bena is located on the 3rd floor or WindCreek which is a private dining room but open to the public. It also is connected to the hotel and has it’s own pool. It’s opened for dinner only Wednesday-Sunday. So make plans to enJOY a Taste of WindCreek.

What was your favorite segment on today’s show? I’d love to hear from you! Please write me here or on Facebook Dining Out With Comedienne Joy.

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Authentic Latin and Indian Food While Touring the Magic City

Birmingham, Alabama is one of the hottest up and coming foodie cities and every time I dine in at a new restaurant, I know why! No matter if it’s American food or from another country the food is always packed full of flavor and authentically made. So the next time you’re in the Lakeview community in Birmingham, you must make your way to Babalu Tacos & Tapas if you’re in the mood for some incredible Latin-inspired food that’s made with fresh ingredients. In fact, the food made my mouth so happy, that I came back the day after filming to try some more menu items which were just as good.

Babalu also offers a soup of the day. It was so yummy that I wanted to lick the pot it was cooked in! Instead of Happy Hour they call it “Social Hour” which is Monday-Friday from 4-6 pm. You can get $2 tacos and some specialty drinks.

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I thought I was ok with not eating potatoes so I can maintain a low carb diet, but Babalu’s Rosti Potatoes made me forget my diet! Theses little hashbrown babies topped with cheese and teriyaki glaze made me know that Jesus is Real!

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Now my second stop was in an iconic spot of Birmingham’s Southside on Highland Ave. Taj India is the city’s oldest Indian restaurant. I love the fact their food is not over powering with curry, cumin & ginger.  7 days a week they offer and extensive lunch buffet with salads, main authentic Indian entrees and desserts for under $10 from 11-2. They open back up for dinner from 5-10 where you can order off the menu.

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Taj India is family owned and operated. Many days you will find the owners there either greeting customers or just making you feel welcome. If you need to get your lunch to go, they also offer a Take & go service on the buffet which rotates daily.

For my final segment, I decided to dine-out as opposed to dining in at one of my favorite spots. My friends from Cosecha Urban Kitchen & Prideline teamed up so I could ride on a Party Bus around the Magic City with my real friends! Cosecha offers street Latin food from breakfast flats to jambalaya bowls to tacos. So since eating chicken is my favorite food, I had chicken tacos riding on the bus!

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You may want to contact Prideline to take you and your friends around town or out of town for your girl’s night out, hanging with the fellas, family reunion or whatever the occasion may be. Let them know Dining Out With Comedienne Joy sent you!

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Chris Hastings Childhood Meal, Gas Station Wings & Breakfast

I thoroughly enjoyed sharing one of celebrity Chef Chris Hastings of Ovenbird favorite childhood dishes…especially since I got to “sop” that pork belly candle. It was de-lish-ous! Great atmosphere at the restaurant which is in Pepperplace in Birmingham, AL.

 

This time of year is perfect for dining at OvenBird as they have lots of outdoor seating under soft lights and of course the moonlight. Monday nights are one of their most popular evenings since many local spots are closed in town. In a separate visit with some blogger friends, I had the opportunity to try this dessert trio.

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If bread is one of weakness, then you definitely want to give this app “Jamon Serrano” a try. It is grilled bread topped with a thin layer of meat, shaved cheese and drizzled with some rhubarb jam.. My third piece jarred my mind that I was on a low-carb diet!

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Now if you only use ketchup on your french fries, then you need to get with the program. That’s like using a flip phone instead of a smart phone. At Good Ole Boys BBQ locations (Chelsea, Sylacauga, Pell City, Wedowee  & Alexander City are all located in gas stations. They have some of the BEST smoked wings, potato salad and 2 words that a hit…#PorkyFries. These are french fries drenched in pulled pork, their BBQ sauce, & melted cheese and boy are they #SoFreakingGood.

If you come to the Chelsea location on Friday night, you can enough some mouthwatering large size catfish filet as part of their seafood night. I’m so glad they broke the rules for me the day of the taping. While you are there, don’t forget to get your bottle of Good Ole Boy BBQ Sauce. It goes well on everything!

Ranch House in Helena is still serving up some good food from their steam bar for under $9 in Helena, but they’ve also added their Mediterranean partner store Markarios menu. Some of those healthy items taste great and very filling. Mention #DiningOutWithComedienneJoy for a 10% discount.

For more updates on great places to eat, follow me on social media at Dining Out With Comedienne Joy

 

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The Big Natsy, Grilled Cheese & Seafood

If you love an incredible burger and a UAB Blazer fan, you will definitely enJOY the entire menu at Chris Z’s  in the Lakeview District in Birmingham, Alabama. Chris Z’s specializes in burgers, sandwiches & a gigantic breakfast called “The Big Nasty.” It gives you every meat off the breakfast menu. You will get full if you can finish it all, but I’m not promising you will do much after breakfast!

Outside of the friendly staff, the other thing I loved about the food at Chris Z’s was the consistency of the food. He used very simple products to make something taste soooo delicious! Chris Z’s is only open for breakfast and lunch Monday-Saturday.

Curiosity got the best of me when I saw this new spot called Thirstea, however the “t” was turned backwards. I went inside and notice the pictures on the walls were glasses of different tea resembling a Thai tea with black eye-ball looking items in it. After speaking with staff, I learned those were bubbles which makes bubble tea. They come in many different flavors & colors, but the taste blew me away. So if you prefer a creamy tea or something more traditional like a green tea, you should stop in at Thirstea. Also their grilled cheese sandwiches are the real deal! Thirstea is located on the corner of Hwy 280 & Valleydale Road next to Planet Fitness.

Finally, if you like soul food, sandwiches or seafood & you’re in Bessemer, Alabama you’ve got to stop in to Destiny On The One. It is nestled away off Dartmouth Ave, but the food taste like mama made it. That’s because the owner Burton Hammond uses recipes he saw his mom used and adds his special flavor to the food. They specialize in soulfood to sandwiches to seafood to almost anything you have a taste for.  Not only are you in store for a great meal, but some good company by the official greeter better known as Bay James. Destiny On The One is open Sunday through Friday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Mardi Gras Eats only in Mobile

If you’re going to be visiting the Port City soon, there’s lots of great places to eat in Mobile besides seafood.  This week I’m showing you some of the best spots thanks to my friend David Calametti with Alabama Coasting Magazine. Our first stop was for shrimp and grits at a very neat spot called The Blind Mule Restaurant & Bar.

 

The Blind Mule has am amazing Sunday Brunch and is also open for live music and comedy during the week.

Now if you need a hearty breakfast to get your day going or want to pick up smoked meat to go, call MeatBoss. This 42 seat dinner gets packed very quickly for breakfast and lunch. One of the breakfast specialties is a hog in a blanket. Which is bacon, patty sausage & conecuh sausage rolled in a gigantic pancake. You can also get pans of slow grilled meat and sides to go.

Finally, moonpies are the staple of Mardi Gras, but would you eat a fried moon pie or even a moon pie burger? That’s just some of the menu items at the Moon Pie General Store. Yes I’m talking about a hamburger patty, bacon & onions topped with moon pie. It was delicious as I love the #SaltySweet flavor profile. Also, another reason to celebrate is Moon Pie is celebrating it’s 100th Bd!!!

Be sure to friend me on social media and tell me what you think of the show! Dining Out With Comedienne Joy Facebook

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Late Night Eats and Weekend Treats

Many people go to local bars for the brew, but I go for the amazing food! The J. Clyde on Cobb Lane on Birmingham’s Southside is known for its wide variety of one of a kind beers, but did you know their kitchen stays open until 1 am?? They are ready to serve you hot and fresh burgers, mac & cheese along with Fatso bread pudding!

You can check The J. Clyde’s 10 Year Celebration today at noon which is $30 for the 10 cask of beers, plus the anniversary food specials.

Mark your calendar for next Saturday for the St. Elias Lebanese Food & Cultural Festival which will be at St. Elias Church near the UAB area. Last year I made grape leaves and I know you loved the way I made meat pies! I hope you get to eat the one I made!!!

Now if you’re looking to fill up now, head on over to Tuscaloosa to Burger-Fi. You know a burger has to be good if their name is on the bun!!! Also cool off with one of their shakes.

Next time you’re in Montgomery, Alabama you MUST make a stop in at Brenda’s BBQ. They’re known for their Pig Ear sandwiches, but I love love love the bbq and the potato salad. Please bring me a plate back! I got $10 to repay you!

If you see a place you’d like me to try, just write me here or on social media Facebook or Instagram. While you are there, please like my page!

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Food is so good, it makes you want to lay down